I knew Robert had class the first time I met him on the beach in Santa Monica. After talking with him for a few minutes I was pretty sure of it. When I learned he was a Harvard educated lawyer, I nonchalantly asked if he was by any chance a Rhodes Scholar. He hesitated at first until I pressed him. He was. There was no question about it – he definitely outclassed me. I made some feeble excuse and began gathering my stuff when he almost pleaded with me, “Where are you going?”
I stood up and smiled at him ruefully. “Back to my side of the tracks.”
He stood up, “What the hell does that mean?” He knew exactly what I meant.
“Rhodes Scholar requirement number four.” Until recently, I had thought it was ‘Roads’ Scholar. When I discovered my error, I looked it up.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Yes, you do … sympathy for and protection of the weak and uneducated … that’s me. I’m hoi polloi, Mr. Miller, and you’re not.” I picked up my beach bag and began to walk away.
He grabbed my arm and held me back. “Wait a second.”
“For what?” I was being snarky and felt ashamed for not at least being a gentleman which I prided myself on – until now. In hindsight, I think I was angry at myself for walking away from this prize catch, but it was the right thing to do, or so I thought at the time.
He didn’t say anything. He was either at a loss for words or stunned at my rudeness.
“Look … I’m going before you become bored to tears.” I pulled away from his grasp and walked away.
“You’re not being fair.”
“Yes, I am … I’ll give you a call sometime.”
“You don’t have my number.”
“Oh, yes I do.”
He didn’t say anything and probably agreed with me. Whether he did or not … it didn’t matter.
But, I did enjoy talking with him, and it didn’t seem important to him that I was hoi polloi. Perhaps it was our mutual loneliness that drew us together.
He had no intention of letting me go though I didn't realize it at the time. I'm not sure if it was love at first sight, Kismet, or Karma. But, I ended up marrying him and came precariously close to losing him over that damned dinner party. But we survived and ourrelationship became much stronger because of it.
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|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
OCCUPATION - Retired from the grind. Reflecting on successes, failures, and regrets. Exploring new aspects of self, writing that book which will get me an Oscar, staying out of trouble - well, small amounts of trouble are ok. Bringing joy into people's lives with random acts of kindness - the ones who aren't expecting it are the best. Cheering up check-out clerks at WalMart - God Almighty, what a crappy job. ABOUT ME - Alone in blessed singleness. Wicked sense of humor, enjoy my own company, glad I'm not young any longer. I do miss the intimacy of being in love. Enjoy the possibilities of every moment, an imagination that won't quite, a master weaver - give away everything I make, excellent portrait painter, a national treasure - though no one agrees with me, a good listener, intuitive, a good conversationalist, avoid boredom and boring people at all costs - that's a career all by itself. INTERESTS - Intelligent conversation: hard to come by these days, metaphysics, mysticism, my pups - Charlie, Max, and Bailey, seeing the funny side of life, going to Macy's at Christmas time - kicking Santa and punching an Elf. If I had a singing voice, which I don't, I would sing all of the time, wherever I was - even in WalMart. Wouldn't that be enchanting? When I receive the Oscar for the book I'm writing, I will have some baritone sing On A Clear Day, and I will lip sync his voice. It will wow the audience. PUBLICATIONS – Alone at the Beach 25 short stories to keep you company, Home Alone 8 Great Stories to keep you company, Born in the Twilight, Injun Summer, This’nThat, Short Stories for a Summer’s Day. Holiday Short Stories, With All My Love, Father Frederick Monahan, Shangri la, Stepping Stones to God, I’m Gay Mother – Get Over it, The Olde Book Shoppe, Naked Before God, The Italian Call Boy, The Silence of Healing, Death of a Pope, The Best Short Stories Ever, and My Love Affair with Father Tomas McTavish, working on a new character, Father Gibbon with Sister Mary Magda. I get choked up when I re-read some of my sentimental stories. I’m told that’s a sign of being a good writer. LOVES - Color and lots of it, strawberry jam, hiking up Yosemite Falls, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, sourdough bread, only made in San Francisco. Hearst Castle, Big Sur, sea air, Adams peanut butter, chocolate milk, rainy days, canaries singing, chocolate chip cookies my mother made, Greek yogurt with honey - oh, yum. Laughter. I make it a point of doing this many times a day. HATES - Stupidity, insensitivity, bad table manners - come on, how difficult is it to hold a fork properly - it's not a shovel for God's sake. Snow, ice, slush, freeway traffic, lima beans - what was God thinking, sleepless nights, people who are late, texting - it's a cop-out, alcohol, red meat, FAVORITE BOOKS - The Spiritual Journey of Joel S. Goldsmith, How to Win Friends and Influence People - I collect this book and give them to people I hate - there's a waiting list. FAVORITE MUSIC – Joplin’s Peachrine, Ahmad Jamal - Country Tour - the absolute best jazz - never tire of it. Someone Waits for You – Carly Simons, Helen Kane singing Button Up Your Overcoat and I Want to Be Bad – I relate to the lyrics. And the Tenor who sang Springtime for Hitler in the Zero Mostel version of The Producers. No one seems to know who he is. What a voice. FAVORITE FILMS – The Celluloid Closet, Witness for the Prosecution, It Could Happen to You, Maltese Falcon, Inherit the Wind, 12 Angry Men, Harold and Maude, Murder on the Orient Express, Hope and Glory, Sorry Wrong Number, Speed, Practical Magic, Apollo 13, Where the Red Fern Grows, The original Producers - touch me, hold me - Estelle was terrific, and Zero - what can I say. FAVORITE TV SHOWS - I don't watch TV any more, but when I did . . . 2-1/2 men - when it was good. Everybody loves Raymond - some great writers; best sight gags FAVORITE QUOTES – The poetry in writing is the illusion it creates: by me. Lord Chesterfield: “Sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.” The saddest words of tongue or pen are these - It might have been - indeed they are. If you want to make a success out of old age, you better start now: my mother when I was 15. On a clear day, you really can see forever - you just have to look. I may be rancid butter, but I'm on your side of the bread. Inherit the Wind. FAMILY – A father who was emotionally absent, a mother who provided all the necessities of life and nothing more. An older brother who is a classic socio-psychopath and made my childhood a misery. I hide from everything just to survive. My right of passage came when I was 18 and joined the Naval Air Reserves. In boot camp I hide in the back row the first day, and guess whose name they called to be the Company Commander – me. But it was the best thing that could have happened and I bless that moment. I had to lead those 50 plus men and boys for 90 days. The night of graduation we drilled in front of the audience and it was perfect. The guys carried me from the hangar in triumph. I came out of the shadows that summer and never went back. I'm a louse when it comes to cleaning house, too many other more enjoyable things to do. “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” Omar Khayyam